Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading business and financial centres. It’s the freest economy in the world, as ranked by the Index of Economic Freedom. It acts as a channel for goods into and out of China, so is a springboard into the Chinese market.
Here we’ll examine all the things you need to consider when importing goods from Hong Kong, from paperwork requirements to customs duties and taxes. PACK & SEND are always delivering items to and from Hong Kong. We are the specialists for shipping large, awkward, fragile and valuable goods. Let us organise your import from Hong Kong today.
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Paperwork Needed for Importing from Hong Kong
When preparing to import to the UK from Hong Kong, you’ll need to prepare the following:
Customs declaration – this is a document that gives the details of the goods you are importing from Hong Kong. It can be lodged either by you or your broker or freight forwarder.
Commodity code – this is a ten-digit number that classifies imports from outside the EU. It identifies the rates of duty and VAT you’ll pay and any restrictions there are on your items.
EORI number – this is a registration and identification number for anyone importing goods into the UK.
Import licences – this is not needed for most goods, but some do need licences. These include military goods, technology, art, plants, animals, medicines and chemicals.
Value Added Tax (VAT) also needs to be paid on anything imported into the UK from Hong Kong. This is calculated on top of import duties and is at the same rate if you had bought the items in the UK – 20%.
Importantly, it also includes the door-to-port cost of shipping the items to the UK. It, therefore, doesn’t disadvantage companies far from UK ports.
If your EORI number is linked to your UK VAT number, you can claim back the VAT on your normal VAT return by using HMRC form C79.
You don’t need to worry about paying VAT twice when you import from Hong Kong, as it doesn’t have VAT, goods and services tax, or sales tax.
If you have a large shipment, or if your deadlines aren’t urgent, sea freight is probably your best option. If you choose sea freight, delivery will take around 1 month from Hong Kong, with the ship passing through the Suez Canal on its way to the UK.
Air freight is likely the best option for you if you have loads under 100kg, or your items are high value or urgent. Flight times from Hong Kong to the UK will be around 10 hours. If your shipment is due to be part of a consolidated flight, assigning a plane may add some time to the journey.
What paperwork is required when importing goods from Hong Kong?
Import shipments coming from Hong Kong some paperwork will be required. The required paperwork could include; a customs declaration, commodity code, EORI number and an import license. Contact your nearest PACK & SEND service centre to find out we can help you complete the documentation for your import getting it safely to you.
Are there import duties and VAT for imports from Hong Kong?
Customs duties will apply to goods with a value of over £135. As well as this VAT will also be paid on all imports from Hong Kong. This is on top of the customs duties at the same rate as the UK, 20%. If your EORI number is linked to your UK VAT number, you can claim back the VAT on your normal VAT return by using HMRC form C79.